DEL: League leader Munich loses

The top trio of the German Ice Hockey League (DEL) had to lose feathers on the 36th day of the game: League leaders Red Bull Munich surprisingly lost 2:5 (0:1, 1:1, 1:3) to Düsseldorfer EG on Wednesday evening. It was only the fourth home defeat of the season for the runners-up.

“That just wasn’t enough of us today,” said defender Konrad Abeltshauser, acknowledging the opponent’s good performance: “Düsseldorf were really good and we played too complicated at times.”

At the same time, the Grizzlys Wolfsburg set a clear scent mark in the top game against ERC Ingolstadt, second in the table. Thanks to the 9: 1 (2: 1, 3: 0, 4: 0) victory, coach Michael Stewart’s team remains close to third place.

Despite the third defeat in the fourth game, the Mannheim eagles can still be found there. The ex-champion lost 2:3 (1:1, 0:1, 1:0, 0:1) at the Iserlohn Roosters after extra time. Iserlohn’s Emile Poirier scored the decisive goal in overtime after just 58 seconds.

In the relegation battle, the ailing champion Eisbären Berlin could not take any points from Bremerhaven either. The polar bears lost 1:2 (1:1, 0:1, 0:0) at the Fischtown Pinguins. Meanwhile, the Kölner Haie once again demonstrated their good form and consolidated their play-off position with a 2-1 (1-0, 0-0, 1-1) win over the Straubing Tigers.

Tail light Bietigheim Steelers was rewarded for a great fight and won 6:5 after extra time (2:3, 2:1, 1:1, 1:0) against the Nuremberg Ice Tigers. The distance to the saving shore remains large at 13 points. For the Augsburg Panthers, on the other hand, there was nothing to get in the fifth game in a row. The penultimate in the table lost against the Löwen Frankfurt 3: 6 (1: 3, 1: 0, 1: 3).

Ice Hockey: Nuremberg initially without a captain

The Nuremberg Ice Tigers have to do without captain Patrick Reimer and Hayden Shaw in the German Ice Hockey League (DEL) for the time being. Both suffered upper body injuries in the away game at the Löwen Frankfurt (2-1) on Tuesday. The exact downtime is “currently unpredictable”, said the Franconians.

The Ice Tigers’ injury list is getting longer and longer. Ryan Stoa, Blake Parlett and Charlie Jahnke are also not available at the moment, and Roman Kechter is taking part in the World Cup in Canada with the U20 national team.

The tragic crash of a Russian ice hockey legend

10 years ago today, this news caused deep sadness throughout Russia.

“We have terrible news: Krutov is dead,” the Russian federation announced on June 6, 2012.

Russian sports fans and ice hockey fans in general didn’t need to be explained who was meant: Vladimir Krutov, who, together with his fellow strikers Igor Larionov and Sergei Makarov, shaped an entire era of Soviet ice hockey – but was remembered rather ingloriously in North America.

At just 52, the left winger died in hospital from internal bleeding from cirrhosis of the liver.

USA opponents in the Lake Placid Miracle
With their technical skills, their skating skills and blind understanding of the game, the KLM trio (also: “The Green Unit”, because of the color of their training shirts) was almost uncontrollable. Krutov was a two-time Olympic champion, five-time world champion and eleven-time Soviet champion with CSKA Moscow, the Central Sports Club of the Red Army.

During the Cold War, Krutov, Larionov and Makarov became legends on both sides of the Iron Curtain, here as heroes, there as seemingly invincible adversaries.

The young Krutov was also part of the Soviet team at the 1980 Olympics, which defeated the USA in the “Miracle on Ice“, the “Miracle of Lake Placid”. Krutov scored the 1-0 for the USSR, which then turned into a 4-3 for the Americans in the end.

Brilliant in the KLM series, a huge flop in the NHL
After glasnost, perestroika and the end of the system struggle at the time, Larionov and Makarov successfully opened a new chapter in the North American professional league NHL. Krutow also dared to jump across the pond in 1989, but his interlude with the Vancouver Canucks failed.

After just one season with 11 goals and 23 assists in 61 games, he was singled out as the most expensive flop in NHL history at the time. Krutov struggled with obesity and homesickness and was a shadow of himself.

“Kruts was a fish thrown out of his waters,” then-teammate Paul Reinhart recalled in the Vancouver Sun after Krutow’s death. “He never acclimated to the North American world.”

The then general manager Pat Quinn added that Krutow was a different type of person than Larionov, who also ended up with the Canucks: “Larionov was a very urban, urbane guy who spoke excellent English. Krutov came from a rural background, didn’t speak English well and was homesick straight away.” You “never really got to know him”.

Career as a coach came to an end
After leaving the NHL, Krutow worked in Europe, played for the Zurich Lions in Switzerland from 1990 to 1992 and finally moved to Sweden, where he ended his career in 1996.

Krutov, who had health problems at the end of his playing days and looked older than he was, became a coach at CSKA Moscow after his career, but withdrew from this job after a fainting spell. With his death eleven years later he left his son Alexei, 2011 winner of the Champions Hockey League with the ZSC Lions from Switzerland.

The death of Vladimir Krutov had to be announced by the association’s president, Vladislav Tretjak, who was once Krutov’s teammate for years as the legendary Sbornaja goalkeeper: “Millions of fans will remember his beautiful game,” he said.

A nice game, but in his case it didn’t survive the fall of the Soviet Union.

Finland wins first Olympic ice hockey gold

Finland wins first Olympic ice hockey gold

Without its stars from the NHL, Finland has fulfilled its dream of winning the first Olympic ice hockey gold. The three-time world champion defeated the Pyeongchang Olympic champion Russia 2-1 (0-1, 1-0, 1-0) in the final in Beijing and finally won the main prize after two silver and four bronze medals. The Russians were denied the tenth gold, they are still record winners at winter games together with the ice hockey motherland Canada.

Mikhail Grigorenko, who was on the ice in the 4-3 final triumph against the German national team four years ago, gave Sbornaja the lead (8th). Ville Pokka equalized for the Finns (24th).

Annes Björninen made the decision (41st). Because of the Sochi doping scandal in 2014, the Russians started under the name of their Olympic committee ROC, in 2018 they competed as “Olympic athletes from Russia”.